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“I Remember You from Our Days in Mozambique”: Jacob Zuma Responds to Mia Couto in an Open Letter #Xenophobia

Ben Okri to Feature as African Representative at 2015 Sydney Writers' Festival

The Sydney Writers’ Festival (SWF) – set to take place from 18 to 24 May 2015 – will feature Ben Okri as one of the international highlights on the programme. He will be the only representative from the African continent.

Ben Okri at the Festival of Ideas
The Age Of MagicIncidents at the ShrineTales of FreedomSongs of EnchantmentStarbookWild
Astonishing the GodsStars of the New CurfewDangerous LoveA Time for New DreamsInfinite RichesThe Famished Road

Okri has published nine novels, including The Age of Magic and the Booker Prize-winning The Famished Road, as well as collections of poetry, short stories and essays. His work has been translated into more than 26 languages. Okri is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, has been awarded an OBE and has won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Africa, the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction and the Chianti Rufino-Antico Fattore International Literary Prize. He was born in Nigeria and lives in London.

He will be speaking at four events:

SWF features an incredible line-up of international literary stars, including Mohsin Hamid, Helen Macdonald, David Walliams and Alan Cumming, Richard Flanagan, James Petterson, David Mitchell, Michael Connelly and Anthony Horowitz among others.

  • Dates: Monday, 18 May to Sunday, 24 May 2015
  • Venues: Sydney Writers’ Festival’s main precinct is at Walsh Bay. This comprises venues at Pier 4/5, Pier 2/3 and Sydney Theatre at Walsh Bay. Events are also held at venues throughout the city, and in suburban Sydney and regional NSW. Detailed information on how to get to venues is available from individual event pages.
  • Ticket cost: Free to $25
  • More information: SWF
  • Follow: Twitter / Facebook

For more information on the festival visit the SWF website, or read the press release sent out by the SWF organisers:

2015 Sydney Writers Fesival Press Release

Links related to Ben Okri:


Book details

Gesoek: Vryskutskrywer vir geleenthede in Pretoria

Boekgesprekke. Boekbekendstellings. Boekfeeste. Boeke boeke boeke.

Danie Marais


Books LIVE is op soek na ‘n Afrikaanse vryskutskrywer – wie ook behendig is met Twitter en foto’s neem – om geleenthede in Pretoria te dek.

Elke geleentheid, nes elke boek en skrywer, is uniek, daarom sal die verwagtinge van tyd tot tyd verskil. Basiese verantwoordelikhede sluit in regstreekse twiets, foto’s van die gaste en eregaste, en ‘n verslag van ongeveer 300 tot 500 woorde.

Indien jy belangstel, of meer inligting verlang, kontak Helené Prinsloo by

Voorbeelde van boekgeleenthede soos gedek deur Books LIVE:

Nicol Stassen en Keina Swart




History Buffs and Cricket Enthusiasts Gathered for the Launch for Dean Allen's Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa

Dean Allen

The many history buffs and cricket enthusiasts who filled The Book Lounge earlier this month for the launch of Dean Allen’s Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa: Logan of Matjiesfontein were enthralled by the story of James Logan of Matjiesfontein. The author, who is a talented lecturer and historian, shared his broad knowledge (replete with amusing anecdotes) about this intriguing slice of local history.

Michael Morris, fellow historian and journalist and the author of Apartheid, an Illustrated History, joined Allen in witty and engaging conversation at the launch. Welcoming the duo to The Book Lounge, owner Mervyn Sloman praised the book for it’s sheer beauty. “It is exceptionally unusual in this day and age to find a book where so much care has gone into the visual side, in a way that complements the storytelling,” he said.

Dean Allen and Michael MorrisEmpire, War & Cricket in South Africa“The text is filled with clean prose that is very well-written,” Sloman said. “Like the best storytelling you are drawn into the characters, the time and the place of this fascinating, little known aspect of our history, the intersection of war and cricket.”

Morris recalled the many email exchanges he had enjoyed over the years with Allen, whom he had known “digitally” as the editor of the Cape Argus. In his years working for the newspaper, Morris received many “intelligent, insightful, extremely well-written and historically fascinating pieces on some or other aspect of cricket”, a topic about which he claimed to know nothing. Morris said he had found Allen’s Empire, War and Cricket in South Africa every bit as engaging as his excellent articles.

The many years of research that had gone into the book also informed Allen’s PhD thesis, and both works have reached a timely fruition. “The timing of this publication is absolutely spot on,” said Morris, referring to the book’s opening paragraph which quotes Cecil John Rhodes. “In his singularly immodest way, this telling opening shows Rhodes reflecting on his own contribution and that of James Logan. Rhodes says he has met only two creators in the Cape, himself and James Logan!”

Morris was curious about why such an extraordinary character had not attracted more attention before now. Allen speculated about this: “He’s one of those characters that history has missed! Being a Brit I can say, had Logan achieved what he had on home soil, there’d be dozens of books written about him already. But that’s the beauty of South Africa. It’s like discovering gold!”

Dean Allen is a compelling speaker and his enjoyment of the work he has done over many years shines through – both in his exuberant presentation, and in the gorgeous book he has written. At the launch, Allen told one particularly memorable story about a “disappearing” suitcase encountered while he was researching for this book.

Many people in the audience bought copies of Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa and queued patiently for an opportunity to chat to the author while he signed their books. A lucky few managed to get out of town and accompany Allen on a spectacular tour of Matjiesfontein, the focal point of this book, the following weekend.

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Liesl Jobson (@LieslJobson) tweeted from the launch using #livebooks while Dean Allen (@EmpireCricketSA) used #EmpireWarCricket:


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Facebook gallery

Dean Allen launched Empire, War & Cricket Launch with Michael Morris at The Book Lounge in Cape Town

Posted by Books LIVE on Friday, 24 April 2015

Book details

Adam Small, Siener in die suburbs en Santa Gamka: Suidoosterfees 2015 is om die draai!

Dit is weer tyd vir die jaarlikse Suidoosterfees!

Nou in sy twaalfde bestaansjaar, bied die fees weer ’n opwindende program vol plaaslike en nasionale produksies en bekende kunstenaars van oral oor Suid-Afrika.

Vertonings vind plaas by verskeie teaters in Kaapstad, insluitend die Fugard Studio en Baxterteater. Die fees vind plaas vanaf 28 April tot 3 Mei en vanjaar se tema is “Winde van verandering”.

Boekwurms kan uitsien na verhoogproduksies van Siener in die suburbs deur PG du Plessis en Santa Gamka deur Eben Venter, asook ‘n voorlesing uit Adam Small se jongste digbundel, Klawerjas.

‘n Groep genaamd Die Argitekbekke bied ‘n wonderlike produksie met uittreksels uit die bekroonde dokumentêre film van Dylan Valley met (wyle) dr Neville Alexander – ’n Hip-hop-era-teaterproduksie wat die wortels van die Afrikaanse taal terug na die slawe en inheemse mense van die Kaap naspoor. Vir meer oor Alexander en sy besonderse bydrae tot taal in Suid-Afrika kan jy gerus Interviews with Neville Alexander: The Power of Languages Against the Language of Power en Language policy and the promotion of peace: African and European case studies lees.

Chester Missing, die uitgesproke pop wat onlangs in die sop beland het, tree ook op tydens die fees. Sy boek, Chester Missing’s Guide to the Elections ’14, het verlede jaar verskyn.

Moet dit nie misloop nie!

KlawerjasSiener in die suburbsSanta GamkaInterviews with Neville AlexanderLanguage policy and the promotion of peaceChester Missing's Guide to the Elections '14


Loer na die program vir meer besonderhede oor hierdie vertonings:

Siener in die Suburbs
28 April – 3 Mei | R120
Met: Shaleen Surtie-Richards, Christo Davids, Brendon Daniels, Ivan Abrahams, Crystal-Donna Roberts, Dann-Jaques Mouton, Andrea Frankson

Ek wil van geweet wees, Ma, ek wil nie vrek soos ’n hond nie, ek wil van geweet wees.” So klink die wanhopige kreet van Tiemie die pragtige meisie (soos vertolk deur Crystal-Donna Roberts) in hierdie Hertzogprys-bekroonde drama (1971). Siener in die Suburbs speel af teen die agtergrond van maatskaplike verval, maar die fokus bly op die komplekse onderlinge menseverhoudings. “Dis nie ingewikkeld nie, nie hoogdrawend, betogend nie, dis sonder etikette, so inheems soos die skrywer self, dis komies en ontroerend.” (Chris Barnard)


Join Mike Bruton for the Launch of When I was a Fish: Tales of an Ichthyologist at Kalk Bay Books

When I was a Fish: Tales of an IchthyologistJacana and Kalk Bay Books would like to invite you to the launch of When I was a Fish: Tales of an Ichthyologist by Mike Bruton.

Bruton will be speaking about his childhood obsession with fish, studying the coelacanth at Rhodes University and his adventures while making extraordinary underwater discoveries.

The launch will be on Thursday, 30 April, at 6 for 6:30 PM at Kalk Bay Books.

See you there!

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 30 April 2015
  • Time: 6 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Kalk Bay Books
    124 Main Road
    Kalk Bay | Map
  • RSVP:, 021 788 2266

Book Details

Don't Miss Herman Wasserman's Seminar on China's Influence on Editorial Agendas in SA at HUMA, UCT

Tabloid Journalism in South Africa: True Story!UCT Press would like to invite you to a seminar on “China’s ‘Soft Power’ and its influence on Editorial Agendas in South Africa” on Thursday, 30 April.

Herman Wasserman, the author of Tabloid Journalism in South Africa, will be presenting the seminar at HUMA Institute for Humanities in Africa. The event takes place from 1 to 2:30 PM.

Wasserman is a professor of Media Studies in the Centre for Film and Media Studies at UCT. His book examines the success of tabloid journalism in South Africa at a time when global print media are in decline. He considers the social significance of the tabloids and how they play a role in integrating readers and their daily struggles with the political and social sphere of democracy.

Don’t miss this seminar!

Event Details

Book Details